Can You Learn to Ski On Your Own (Without Taking Lessons)?

Can You Learn to Ski On Your Own (Without Taking Lessons)?

So you’re about to go skiing for the first time, probably with a friend, but you have no plans to pay for those expensive ski schools.

You have thought of familiarizing yourself with the basics or even learning all that you need to know before the big day.

Chances are you’re wondering whether this is a good idea.

Hence, Can You Learn to Ski On Your Own?

Yes, of course! But you should reconsider before going alone. The problem with teaching yourself skiing is you don’t know where to start and when to wrap up the ‘training.’ How do you even know you’ve grasped the basics without an exam from an instructor? Once you learn a poor technique, unlearning it will be hard.

As an entirely clueless beginner, your starting point is simple but somewhat irresponsible – strap yourself with the gear and start the slide down the slope unsure of your own safety and probably zero ski resort etiquette as well.

I’ve seen beginners – mostly tourists – who disregard ski schools run the entire width to initiate a simple turn that would’ve taken much less effort if they took instructions from a qualified trainer.

And they almost always fall while at it, endangering the safety of everyone else.

Perhaps the worst learners I’ve seen on the resort are the newbies that stop right in the middle of the run.

They are just as bad as those who drop suddenly and sit down only to make it harder for other serious skiers to turn fast enough.

Then there are those that don’t even look up the slope when they are about to cross.

Some expert starter skiers will cruise at speeds in the excess of 40 mph or much higher which means a collision with an object or unseen skier would be catastrophic.

With that said, learning to ski on your own is a great idea but only if you are sure you will get it right all by yourself.

Related: Can You Snowboard Without Lessons?

Suppose I Teach Myself, How Should I Choose a Destination?

Your training ground has a big impact on the success of your learning process.

As a clueless beginner, you probably don’t have the same aspirations as advanced skiers.

So, what’s important at this level is the piste map of your preferred resort.

Piste maps show all the pistes available on the resort and – more importantly – the level of difficulty on each piste.

It is pretty standard for piste maps to depict easy pistes in blue.

In Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, a blue piste shows areas with an inclination of no more than 25 percent. Intermediate pistes – often marked in red – tend to have 40 percent or less inclination.

Black pistes – probably the hardest pistes you will encounter – feature steep descents with an inclination of more than 40 percent.

Marking systems vary between countries.

In some places, you will be surprised to find the green slopes being the easiest, red slopes being harder to crack, and the blue slopes being in the middle while black slopes being super difficult.

Another thing: as a starter trying to teach yourself from scratch with very little or no help, you need to take into account three other factors – accessibility of the training area, the easiest slopes available, and location of your training area. Accommodation and your proximity to the training ground are paramount.

Be certain to look for beginners’ spots separated from the rest of the training grounds.

That way, you will be free to put all your mind and eyes on your progress with no need to worry about injuring other skiers.

Related: Is There A Skier Weight Limit?

Tell Me, What Are the Benefits of Learning Skiing On My Own?

Here are the perks that come with going at it lesson-free:

1. It Is a Cheaper Option

You will pay an average training fee of $70 an hour if you are single.

As a group, the fee may reduce to $30.

A day’s worth of training could see you part with about $500.

As a group, the fee can stagger in the region of $100.

That’s a lot of money, right? It doesn’t even include the cost of acquiring the equipment, mind you!

If you like to save money, just like me and most people, skipping the lessons sounds like a great idea.

2. More Holiday Freedoms

When you hit the slopes, you are after fun and excitement and nothing else.

However, lessons would interfere with this if you book an appointment with the instructor.

Learning on your own means you have lesson-free holidays, hence the freedom to come up with your own schedule.

You can wake up at a time of your choosing, hit a new slope, and pursue what your mood says.

3. Learn Your Own Way

Many people loathe being told what to do.

Yet skiing lessons are given by instructors whose guidance must be adhered to, exams passed, and corrections completed as told.

If you dislike this approach, freestyle skiing sounds like a more attractive option.

4. You Must Not Be an Expert

Unless you are trying to be a pro skier, you are better off learning on your own.

Most newbie skiers are content with having fun and nothing else while some of us only ski once in a long time, so spending money on lessons is a waste.

5. You’re Too Old for Tuition, Or So You Think

Many people don’t have an interest in skiing until they get a little older, say, 50 years.

At that age, you are probably less inclined to attend ski schools because you want to commit your time to other more pressing things.

It is fair to make an assumption that adults don’t like to sit down and take lessons for anything. It is not about arrogance!

But Why Would You Consider Ski Lessons?

We started by admitting it’s perfectly OK – even encouraged in some situations – to skip lessons and learn skiing on your own.

However, we must also acknowledge the value of learning from a qualified instructor.

Remember that ski instructors possess years’ worth of experience on top of their training.

They know the right thing to teach at each stage of your learning experience.

They’re great skiers themselves, so to learn from them is to learn from the best.

Of course, not all instructors out there are competent for the job, but if you enroll in a reputable school, you will learn everything you need with fewer regrets.

Another thing is safety.

You may read all the guides out there on your own but you might never grasp the most critical safety concepts required to make a great skier.

This can be especially true if you are venturing into skiing as a part-time thing you aren’t too eager to know the ins and outs.

However, some things are best learned from the trainer.

Conclusion

Can you learn to ski on your own (without taking lessons)?

Yes, of course! But you should reconsider before going alone.

The problem with teaching yourself skiing is you don’t know where to start and when to wrap up the ‘training.’

How do you even know you’ve grasped the basics without an exam from an instructor?

Once you learn a poor technique unlearning it will be hard.

Still, many people loathe being told what to do.

Yet skiing lessons are given by instructors whose guidance must be adhered to, exams passed, and corrections completed as told.

If you dislike this approach, freestyle skiing sounds like a more attractive option.

References

Why You (Don’t) Need Lessons to Ski. Unbiased Pros Vs Cons 

Can You Learn To Ski Without Lessons? 

Skiing Without Lessons: Is it a Good Idea? 

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